Frank Miller is writing a new Batman story - this is a good thing thinks I. I'm not a big fan of the Batman comics (I was always a Marvel boy and not really a DC boy beyond the brilliant Vertigo range) but Frank Miller is a good writer.
The new series is called "Holy Terror, Batman" and is about Batman tackling al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and thrawting a terrorist attack on Gotham City. Miller has openly admitted the book is a blatant piece of propaganda. He says it is his gut-reaction to remind people who seem to have forgotten what we're up against.
Does anyone else have the same gut-reaction as me when hearing about stories like this? My gut reaction being quite negative towards the whole project.
I don't like propaganda, and I certainly don't like propaganda that reaches kids yunder the age of 14 as well as adults. Most adults might not be bright but at least many of them should be able to distinguish propaganda slightly better than kids.
I don't think painting al-Qaeda as the 'big bad' is the right reaction. I agree we can't ignore the problem but terrorism thrives when people are scared and by pushing it in peoples faces through avrious mediums will keep the threat in peoples minds. The best thing to do with al-Qaeda directly is not give them hardly any news space. Play down the threat so people don't consider them about to chemically attack their local supermarket or kindergaten and poison the little baby rabbits at the local zoo. Meanwhile, let the governments and covert agencies tackle the main threat by seizing the organisations assets, communiques and suchlike. Media attention not only frightens people to a threat which is, in all reality, quite minimal for the majority of people, but also proves a massive recrutiing tool to al-Qaeda as disillusioned youth from around the world see a banner that they can respond to and fight 'against injustice' for.
Also from growing up in the 70's and 80's propaganda that kids end up seeing can have lasting affects. I know loads of people of my age range who still remember all of the Cold War and Nuclear Threat warnings and drills we were made to do. Growing up half-expecting to hear the five-minute warning sirens at any minute was not the best of experiences you could have.Comic Book Hero Takes On al-Qaeda
(BBC News Online; Wednesday 15th February 2006)